News

Horwath lays out plan for Ontarians to pay less for, and own more of hydro

Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath laid out her plan to cut hydro bills for everyone across the province by up to 30 per cent and to return Hydro One back to public ownership.

“It’s time for the people of Ontario to pay less for – and own more of – our hydro,” said Horwath. “Affordable, reliable public power will be the backbone of the electricity system under an NDP government.”

Lower hydro bills start with more public control of the electricity system in Ontario.  Along with returning Hydro One to public hands, the NDP plan lays out an end to the practice of paying for electricity Ontario doesn’t need, and an immediate review and renegotiation of bad private power contracts signed by Liberal and Conservative governments. Additional commitments built into the package include equalizing rural and urban delivery charges, capping private profit margins and ending Time of Use billing. 

“Electricity isn’t a luxury. It shouldn’t be priced like one,” said Horwath. “Instead of subsidizing hydro bills by taking money from hospitals and schools, I’ll lower the cost of power. Families will see immediate relief, and permanent change on their hydro bills. It’s time for a government that gets what families are dealing with – and takes action to make life easier in Ontario.”

With profits flowing to private and foreign corporations, Horwath said making hydro public again is the best way to get hydro bills under control and deliver long-term financial returns to the province. No rate increase would be required to finance the return of Hydro One to public ownership.  The NDP’s ambitious but achievable plan is one piece of a much-needed plan to make life more affordable for all Ontarians; and give the next generation the opportunity to build a great life.

Read the fill plan HERE (pdf).

Our plan: Pay Less. Own More. 

Statement by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on anti-Semitic graffiti

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, MPP for Hamilton Centre, issued the following statement on the recent discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti on a Hamilton-area trail: 

“I was saddened and disgusted to learn of the discovery of more anti-Semitic graffiti in Hamilton. For this discovery to be made only hours before I rose to speak at Queen’s Park to condemn prejudice and hatred is a stark and urgent reminder of how much work we have to do to stop faith-based discrimination and racism of all kinds, in Ontario and around the world. 

“As a New Democrat, a Hamiltonian, and someone who believes profoundly in the value of diversity, I reject and condemn this hatred. New Democrats stand with the Jewish community against all forms of anti-Semitism and hate, and we reject the politics of division in all its ugly forms.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in Ontario and no place in Hamilton. I know the vast majority of Hamiltonians join me in rejecting anti-Semitism, prejudice, and hate of any kind.”

Liberals play politics with winter power disconnections

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals refused Tuesday to support NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s motion to sever Bill 27 and end winter hydro disconnections – only to introduce the exact same motion on Wednesday.

“It’s painfully obvious that the Liberals are doing what they think is best for the Liberal party – not the people of Ontario,” said Horwath, who added that the NDP will support the motion.

“Last year, 60,000 households had their heat and power shut down because they were struggling to keep up with sky-high hydro bills. Kathleen Wynne didn’t stop dangerous winter disconnections then. This year, including yesterday, she’s refused to support the NDP’s calls for winter disconnections to end.” 

“Up to and including last night, we continue to hear about more disconnections. I wonder if the premier can tell us how many households had their power cut off while she was dragging her feet on this issue?” 

The motion was tabled by Horwath Tuesday morning, the Legislative Assembly’s first day back in session, and would have immediately severed and brought to a vote a winter disconnections prohibition clause in Bill 27. After voting down that motion Tuesday, Wynne’s Liberals’ Wednesday motion was identical. 

Horwath said that people are suffering from the high cost of privatized hydro, and there’s no room for political games in their lives.

“This isn’t a time for politics,” she said. “It’s time for a concrete plan to give families more security by delivering relief from massive hydro bills.”

NDP calls on Premier Wynne to restore direct provincial funding for TTC

On the first day of the new legislative session, Peter Tabuns, MPP for Toronto-Danforth, called on the Wynne government to improve transit service by restoring provincial funding for 50 per cent of transit operations.

“Under the province’s traditional 50-50 funding formula, the TTC and Wheel-Trans would have received about $345 million in direct provincial funding, based on the budget passed last week,” Tabuns said.  “With this level of provincial funding, the TTC would be able to improve service, boost ridership and give Torontonians more reason to leave the car at home.

Horwath begins new legislative session with focus on Hydro disconnections, Sault families

Today during the first Question Period of the new legislative session at Queen’s Park, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath stood up for a Sault family struggling to keep up with their hydro bills, even facing disconnection notices. 

“Charlene lives in the Sault and she has three kids. Her husband works full time, she has two jobs; one part time, and one full time,” said Horwath during Question Period.  “They try to do the laundry and cooking during off-peak hours, but between their work schedules and three kids, it’s hard. Can the Premier tell Charlene and people like her all across Ontario what she thinks they should do to get by?”

Liberals vote against ending winter disconnections

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals had a chance Tuesday to join with the NDP and end the practice of disconnecting hydro in the winter – but voted against it.

“Last year 60,000 households had their hydro cut off,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who tabled the motion on Tuesday morning, the Legislative Assembly’s first day back in session. “Now, the Liberals want to play politics. They want to hold their power to stop winter disconnections as a bargaining chip so they can force the legislature to support their 158-page Harper-style omnibus bill.”

 

Open letter from NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson: Immediately stop winter hydro disconnections with standalone legislation

Ontario NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson issued the following open letter to Government House Leader Hon. Yasir Naqvi calling for standalone legislation to immediately stop winter hydro disconnections.

Hon. Yasir Naqvi, MPP

Government House Leader

Minister Naqvi:

RE: Immediate Severing of Bill 27 to Eliminate Winter Hydro Disconnections

As you know, the NDP has expressed our belief that eliminating hydro disconnections during winter months must be a priority, ending the practice of taking away heat and light from Ontario families, and ending the fear and worry for those struggling under a threat of disconnection.

Unfortunately, the only proposal we have received from your government to date is a plan to pass Bill 27, a 158-page omnibus bill that New Democrats and City of Toronto councillors have expressed serious concerns about. Bill 27 would amend 17 schedules affecting different ministries and pieces of legislation, including allowing for the privatization of the public space at Ontario Place through a rewrite of the Ontario Place Corporation Act. It is simply unacceptable to allow the passage of a clause so critical to people’s lives and well-being to totally unrelated matters, and matters that deserve the scrutiny and full due diligence of Ontario’s MPPs.

As all parties have expressed some degree of support for changes that give the minister the power to end winter hydro disconnections, New Democrats now propose that Schedule 10 of Bill 27 be severed from your omnibus bill and introduced as a separate bill immediately on return of the house on Tuesday, February 21. Please find the text of a draft UC motion attached for your review.

Under our proposal, a unanimous consent motion would be moved on Tuesday February 21, and the standalone bill could be tabled that very afternoon. The necessary language already exists as part of Bill 27 – the hydro section must simply be reformatted to allow its introduction as a standalone piece of legislation.

Because of the urgent nature of this situation for those families under threat of disconnection, our proposal also allows for the bill to pass all three stages and become law on the same day that it is introduced, ending winter disconnections far sooner than the omnibus Bill 27 could possibly achieve.

There are instances where severing a clause from its bill has occurred in both the NDP and PC administrations prior to 2003. The timeline to introduce the new bill is also not unprecedented – in fact, in 2013 the motion that began the process to establish the Financial Accountability Office also provided instructions and a deadline date for the Minister of Finance to table the enabling legislation. 

By separating the hydro disconnection issue, we can move quickly to help those in need, without compromising the thoughtful consideration and meaningful debate that the rest of Bill 27 demands. I look forward to discussing this with you further and hope we can put a solution in place in time for the start of the House on February 21.

Respectfully,

GILLES BISSON, MPP
Timmins – James Bay
NDP House Leader
Att.
cc: Jim Wilson, MPP, Official Opposition House Leader

 

DRAFT MOTION

SEVERING OF SECTION 10 FROM BILL 27, BURDEN REDUCTION ACT, 2016

That notwithstanding any Standing Order or Special Order of the House, Schedule 10 of Bill 27, An Act to reduce the regulatory burden on business, to enact various new Acts and to make other amendments and repeals, be removed from the Bill; and

That the passage of this motion shall constitute an order to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services to introduce, no later than the sessional day following passage of this motion, a new bill consisting only of the verbatim contents of Schedule 10; and That the Order for Second Reading of the Bill shall be called as the first order of business during Orders of the Day on the same day that the bill is introduced, and that the question on the motion for Second

Reading of the Bill shall be put immediately without debate or amendment, and at such time the bill shall be ordered for Third Reading; and That the Order for Third Reading the bill shall then immediately be called, and the question on the motion for Third Reading of the bill shall be put immediately without debate or amendment; and

That no deferral of the Second or Third Reading votes pursuant to Standing Order 28(h) shall be permitted; and

That in the case of any division relating to any proceedings on the bill the division bell shall be limited to five (5) minutes.

 

Horwath says people’s voices, action to drive new session

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she’ll be using the new legislative session to bring the voices of Ontario people to Queen’s Park, and propose solutions to the frustrating situation the Liberal government has put them in.

“Ontario is at a tipping point,” said Horwath. “The cost of living – especially the cost of hydro – is painful. Things we all count on, like hospitals and schools, are being cut and squeezed. Premier Wynne let Ontario down, and it feels like she simply doesn’t get what families are going through.” 

Horwath said acknowledging the reality for everyday Ontarians has to be followed by action. 

“We see the Liberal government tinker around the edges where they think it might help Premier Wynne and her party. And we see Mr. Brown’s Conservatives oppose without proposing solutions. That’s not going to cut it for families who are facing growing costs, growing debt and stagnant or dropping incomes.” 

Horwath noted that taking action on hydro disconnections in the winter is at the top of her priority list. 

“The solution Ontario families need is lower hydro prices,” she said. “But in the meantime, I won’t let the Liberals and Conservatives play political games with people’s lives. I’ll be moving to prevent any more families from having the heat shut off in the middle of winter immediately by severing that clause from the omnibus Bill 27, and pushing to get that through the house before any more families suffer.”

MPPs return to regular sitting hours at Queen’s Park starting Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Liberals must stop playing political games with people’s lives, end winter hydro disconnections:

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement.  

"Today’s letter by Minister Thibeault requesting a voluntary end to winter disconnections by LDCs changes nothing. It falls far short of the action Ontarians expect and deserve. Both the premier and the minister need to stop playing political games with people’s lives. 

When the legislature resumes sitting on Tuesday, I’ll be pushing to immediately remove the hydro disconnections portion of Bill 27, a 158-page Harper-style omnibus bill, so that all parties can quickly pass it as a standalone piece of legislation. This government should be offering real solutions instead of allowing vulnerable families to freeze in the dark of an Ontario winter.

Of course, ending disconnections is necessary, but people also need urgent action to lower hydro prices."

NDP: Opportunities for Sault Ste. Marie youth a priority

Young people in the Soo deserve meaningful job opportunities in their own community, says Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.  Horwath, NDP candidate and City Councillor Joe Krmpotich, and Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha spent the day in Sault Ste. Marie Friday, talking with the community about creating well-paying jobs on which Soo residents can raise a family.

“Parents and grandparents don’t want to see another generation of young people moving away from the north because they can’t build their career in their own community,” said Horwath.

Horwath, Krmpotich and Mantha spent time Friday with Sault Ste. Marie families, businesses and representatives of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre discussing jobs and training – including the NDP’s Bill 64, which will massively expand paid work-integrated learning opportunities.

“This is an issue that affects people in the north in particular,” said Mantha.  “In the Algoma region between 2007 and 2012, nearly 1,200 people between the ages of 18 and 25 left home.  That’s a big loss to the community, and to many families.”

“PC Leader Patrick Brown supported Stephen Harper’s cut to the Federal Youth Employment Program while the Liberals took harmful steps like cancelling the Ontario Ranger Program. The NDP’s work-integrated learning plan is a concrete step to help Soo youth get the training they need to build their careers and their lives here,” Mantha finished.

Krmpotich said the time for action in the Soo is now.

“I’ve lived in Sault Ste. Marie all my life.  I raised my kids here.  I love this community, and I know we can’t keep heading in the wrong direction,” he said. “People know I'm a fighter for the Soo and I want to take that fight to the province to ensure our community and our families have long-term prosperity.”

Toronto needs the province to partner on transit, childcare, affordable housing: Horwath

Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Toronto Mayor John Tory met to discuss ways in which the provincial government can and should be partnering with the City of Toronto when it comes to funding transit and transportation, affordable housing for vulnerable Ontarians, and affordable and accessible childcare for working families across the city. 

“Toronto and municipalities across the province need reliable and stable funding for transit and transportation, and putting Ontarians first means being a partner on that front,” said Horwath. “The province must contribute its fair share. It’s time to immediately restore 50 per cent operating funding for Toronto transit services.”  

In addition to properly supporting transit in Toronto, Horwath said it’s past time for the provincial government to do its part to protect affordable childcare spaces, which are under pressure due to lack of adequate funding. Horwath said Ontario must also commit to a fair one-third split, alongside federal and municipal partners, to improve and sustain affordable housing.

“Torontonians expect their provincial government to deliver when it comes to the basics like transit, affordable childcare and affordable housing.” said Horwath.  “These are priorities for families living in Toronto and municipalities across the province, and we need to see real, budgeted financial commitments to deliver on those priorities.” 

The NDP Leader said that working together with municipalities is a critical part of making life better for the people of Ontario.

“I thank Mayor Tory for today's very productive meeting and I'm looking forward to meeting with other municipal leaders to talk about building partnerships that support their priorities.”    

Statement by NDP Culture critic Sarah Campbell on TVO ending over-the-air broadcast signal to communities outside Toronto

Sarah Campbell, Ontario NDP Culture Critic and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that TVO will decommission eight over-the-air transmitters on July 31, 2017: 

"New Democrats are deeply concerned that Liberal government cuts to TV Ontario have resulted in this short-sighted decision to eliminate broadcast transmitters to eight Ontario communities.

"Ending over-the-air transmission of TV Ontario is unfair to families in these communities and will have a disproportionate impact on children and families in the north.   

"Children in Thunder Bay deserve access to a free signal providing dynamic educational programming from our public broadcaster as much as a child in Toronto. 

"Cutting transmitters will not only restrict free, public access, but it also ignores the cord-cutting trend that has seen many Ontarians return to OTA receivers.

"The Minister of Education must immediately consider the impact the loss of educational programming will have on young Ontarians in Belleville, Chatham, Cloyne, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Windsor.

"As Ontario’s educational broadcaster, TVO has contributed to a richer understanding of our province and our world reaching most regions in our province for generations. The announcement to go dark, except for an additional cable fee, outside of Toronto goes against the spirit and mandate of this unique institution. 

 "This move should be reversed immediately. The Minister ‎of Education must take the necessary steps to protect access to educational programming for all Ontarians across our province.”

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Black History Month 2017



Hello friends,

As Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over Ontario and everywhere I go, I am reminded of just what an important role the Black community has played in shaping this province, and country.

As Canada marks its 150th anniversary, Ontario celebrates its 39th Black History Month this February, which I urge all Ontarians to take part in.

When we talk about Black History Month, what we’re really talking about is Canadian history.

From cowboys in Alberta like John Ware, to business entrepreneurs like Thornton Blackburn in Toronto, African-Canadians have been building and shaping this country since the earliest days of its history.

Black History Month is more than just an important educational opportunity – it is a celebration. 

Ontario, Canada, and cultures around the world have been profoundly influenced and enriched by the Black community. 

Black History Month is a time for all Ontarians and Canadians to celebrate the contributions the Black community has made, and to honour its role models and leaders, past and present. 

All Ontarians should take time to learn about the challenges and triumphs of African-Canadians, African-Americans, as well those from the Continent and the diaspora. 

It is important that this history never be forgotten or ignored. 

We must also never forget or ignore the challenges still being faced by the Black community.

Despite improvements, the Black community still bears a disproportionate burden of violence, poverty, racism, and lack of opportunity. 

Thankfully, community activists and leaders are carrying on the traditions of human rights pioneers like Stanley Grizzle, Bromley Armstrong, and Viola Desmond. 

These community leaders, past and present, are standing up to make the promise of Canadian multiculturalism and tolerance a reality. 

Their ongoing struggles and leadership are a call to action to all Ontarians to confront injustice wherever we see it and to build a fair, inclusive society, where everyone can build a future for their family.

Ontario’s New Democrats are proud to stand in solidarity with these community activists, and to celebrate the leaders and activists that have come before.

The African-Canadian community, its history, and it struggles, should always hold an important place in our schools, literature, and culture.

Alongside all Ontarians, New Democrats are proud to celebrate Black History Month, this year, and every year. 

Thank you.

Merci. 

Meegwetch.

 

 

 

 

2017 Black History Month Message from Andrea Horwath

Hello friends, 

As Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over Ontario and everywhere I go, I am reminded of just what an important role the Black community has played in shaping this province, and country. 

As Canada marks its 150th anniversary, Ontario celebrates its 39th Black History Month this February, which I urge all Ontarians to take part in.

When we talk about Black History Month, what we’re really talking about is Canadian history.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to Premier Wynne: Declare Ontario a “Sanctuary Province”

January 31, 2017

Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Wynne:

Ontarians are dismayed by United States President Donald Trump’s alarming and discriminatory ban on refugees and the citizens of seven primarily Muslim countries.

Like millions of our American neighbours, we believe that a ban against individuals based on religion, race, or country of origin must never be tolerated by Canada. President Trump’s actions are disastrous for innocent people and put the lives of thousands of vulnerable refugees at risk.

As the House of Commons prepares to hold an emergency debate this evening, I am writing to request that you formally urge the Prime Minister to immediately condemn President Trump’s ban, in the strongest possible terms, and to announce that Canada will welcome impacted refugees. The federal government must understand that Ontario will fully support all concrete steps to aid refugees and vulnerable people, including lifting the 1,000 person cap on G5 private refugee sponsorships this year.

Ontario can and must also step up and lead. In addition, I urge you to declare Ontario to be a sanctuary province. In recent years, cities like Toronto and Hamilton have shown tremendous leadership by making local services accessible to all residents, regardless of their immigration status. Now, our province must do the same. We must guarantee that services will always be accessible to everyone in Ontario.

Furthermore, as we stand in solidarity with Muslim Canadians and grieve for the victims of the terrorist attack in Québec City, we must redouble our efforts to fight hate and Islamophobia. We must take concrete actions to affirm that diversity and inclusiveness are our greatest strengths.

Ontario must take real action to show that our communities are always stronger and safer when we are welcoming, inclusive, and when no one lives in fear. I urge you to act without delay.

Sincerely,

Andrea Horwath, Leader, Ontario’s New Democrats

ANDREA HORWATH'S SPEECH TO PROVINCIAL COUNCIL JANUARY 21, 2017 | TORONTO

Good morning everyone! Hello New Democrats! 

Bonjour à toutes et à tous ! 

And a belated Happy New Year to all of you!

I thought about starting with a Trump joke this morning but, you know, none of us are really in a laughing mood.

Instead, I’ll be joining the Women’s March at Queen’s Park in a few hours. Because now, more than ever, we have to stand together.

We have to stand up together and fight harder than ever for social justice, for the rights of women, and for the rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable people.

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Québec City mosque shooting

Ontario New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement, in response to the deadly attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec:

“Like all Canadians, I was heartbroken to hear about the attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, in Québec City.

“Today, we stand in solidarity and mourning with Muslim-Canadians, and all those grieving in Quebec. New Democrats condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of the victims.

“This is a country that has been profoundly enriched by diversity and difference. Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our communities, our history, and our future.

“New Democrats in Ontario, and across the country, have always worked to combat Islamophobia and intolerance.  Now, more than ever, we must confront injustice whenever we see it.”

 

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on addressing the pressing needs of municipalities now

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement.

"The needs of Toronto, and municipalities across the province, have been ignored for too long by Premier Wynne and her Liberal government.  New Democrats are proud to support  citizens groups and municipal leaders who have called on the Province to contribute its fair share when it comes to funding transit and transportation,  affordable housing for vulnerable Ontarians, and affordable and accessible childcare for working families.

While municipalities will no doubt find good use for additional gas tax revenue, they cannot wait until 2021 for support.

If the Premier were truly committed to meeting the needs of Toronto and Ontario’s municipalities then she would  immediately restore 50% operating funding for municipal transit services, which amounts to more than $300 million dollars as opposed to the inadequate $170 million dollars the Liberals are offering Toronto. She would make real contributions to protect affordable municipal childcare spaces, which municipalities are being forced to close for lack of provincial support. She would immediately commit the Province to providing an equitable one third split, alongside the federal government and municipalities, for affordable housing, so that municipalities can make badly needed improvements to affordable housing stock.

Like people in Toronto and across the province, I am deeply disappointed that the Premier has decided to play games with the urgent need for transit funding. The timing of this announcement and the fact that the money she is promising won’t begin to flow until after the 2018 provincial election is politics at its worst. It is the duty of a provincial government  to respond to the pressing needs of cities and municipalities now not at the most politically convenient time.  The upcoming provincial budget must include 50% operating funding for municipal transit and real support for public housing and affordable childcare.

In the future I look forward to meeting with Mayor Tory and municipal leaders across the province to discuss ways in which the Province can and should be helping municipalities to meet their transit, transportation, childcare and affordable housing needs."